4 Personality Types for Web Design


You’ll remember that we have already talked about the importance of targeting the right audience with your website so you can adapt and engage with your customers online. This week we’re going to explore deeper into that with the individual differences that affect the behaviour of individuals, and that should be considered when you design your website.

In her wonderful book Website Branding for Small Businesses, web psychologist Nathalie Nahai draws from (believe it or not) a romantic relationships book the four personality archetypes that exist according to neurochemicals in humans’ brain, and looks into the way to target them with a business’ online efforts.

It should be considered that we’re all a mix of all four, but the big majority of individuals will display a primary and secondary type. If you can determine which type of personality your service or product is attracting, you can design your website to target and attract those individuals.



Explorers tend to seek out novelty and take risks, they have a very active dopamine system. They make choices at the last minute and are very spontaneous, they tend to be independent and unpredictable, usually creative, sensual and fun, but easily bored if forced to adapt to a daily routine.

The best approach with explorers is to create a website that is playful and intriguing, submitting your website to discovering engines works great with them. If this is your target, make your website more inviting by adopting language and design that excites the senses, anything that will take too long to load will make them leave.

Use content that engages and run contests and last minute deals to push their adrenaline button, after you get them keeping them is a matter of updating your content regularly and throwing them a few curve balls to keep them surprised and interested.



They have a loyal ad friendly personality which makes them networkers by nature, you’ll find them on social networks since they are very comfortable in social situations. They are not easily bored like Explorers, are dependable, methodical and hard working.

If these are your customers, make sure that your content and navigation are logically organized, clearly labelled and easy to follow. They are not impulsive, so you’ll have to take the time to build a relationship with them, they are also the most traditional of the four and you should be careful to respect them and their choices. Make the effort to include a progress bar for them or something similar that produces structure and reduces uncertainty.

As long as your content is useful and clearly structured and you communicate with them on their terms, you’ll attract more business from Builders.



Basically anyone who’s gifted at handling people. They are patient and compassionate, always good at reading other people. Negotiators have a facility with language and weight things in context when making decisions, are flexible and diplomatic and they sometimes find themselves swayed by others in a social group. They are socially savvy but their ability to assume different points of view can lead to an inability to make decisions.

They are mostly interested in creative subjects and anything that gives them a psychological insight, since they tend to consider all possible factors you should present them with a unified front of user reviews, social recommendations, product information and pictures.

If these are your customers you should attract them with a creative website design and an intuitive user interface, always include a search function for them. The best way to communicate with Negotiators is through video, since it will give them a feel of who you are as a business and provoke engagement.



They are mainly motivated by testosterone and have a strong drive for success. Tough-minded, competitive and goal-oriented, the Directors can be relied on to take decisive action in difficult situations. They are the least social of the four, are often bold and say what they mean even at the risk of looking rude, prefer reason and logic above all else and are great problem solvers.

The most difficult group to engage online, the best way to communicate with them is directly through email or a professional social network like LinkedIn. They will evaluate your business in terms of how it helps them achieve a certain goal, and since they make decisions swiftly you have a short window in which to convince them you’re the right option for them. Concentrate on messages that focus on success and always sustain your claims with evidence. In their case the use of authority figures and a good track record is a lot more likely to engage.


This is just a small tidbit of the many subjects that this book covers, I consider it a great tool and would encourage anyone with a small business that wants to build a strong and engaging online presence to give it a read, you won’t regret taking my advice.

Can you determine into which of these types are your customers? It can be more than one of course. I also find it fun to place yourself through self-analysis in one of them, I consider myself mainly a Negotiator. Which one are you? Tell us in the comments below.


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